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There are no excuses that can be deemed valid. Even people with dyslexia can learn how to speed read.
Many people don’t even realize that their slower reading pace is the only thing blocking the way between them and success.
Polls report that most computer users want to improve their typing speed and haven’t considered how learning how to read faster can actually enhance their computer skills.
College students are the ones most likely aware of their need to speed read. They get assigned large portions of text to read, reading that they have to get done in a limited amount of time. If only they could read all of those chapters at a faster pace. They’d be able to study and get their work done faster while gracefully retaining more of the information they need to pass any test.
The benefits of speed reading are immense for all, whether they be a student, professional, mentor, or even just a lover of good books. If you want to experience the benefits for yourself, read on to learn how to speed read.
Laying the Foundation by Removing Roadblocks Ahead of Time
Speed reading courses teach the learner the techniques they need to increase their reading speed, but most courses fail to cover all bases. A few things can stand in a person’s way, preventing them from learning to read faster. Taking the initiative to address these issues on your own can significantly enhance the outcome you get from any speed reading training.
The practice of speed reading helps increase a person’s focus, but lack of focus can ironically prevent a person from completing each practice session. Therefore, it’s crucial to boost your ability to focus aside from your speed reading lessons.
Some ways to increase your focus include mediation, exercise, making sure you get sufficient sleep and nutrition, and creating an environment where distractions are minimal.
Much of increasing speed reading has to do with training the eye to see more in a single glance.
Speed reading exercises strengthen the eye, but having weak eyes can limit your ability to complete the practice sessions, as fatigue may come much sooner than expected.
Prepare your eyes for speed readings even before attempting any practice session of the same by doing eye exercises. As well, make sure that you have the proper prescription, if you wear contacts or glasses, and make sure your eyes are adequately moisturized if you’re prone to allergies, dry eye, or eye fatigue.
The Practice of Speed Reading
There are several courses available on speed reading. Some come in the form of books. Others are computer software, and some people take actual speed reading classes in their local area.
There might be some classes at the local university or even the library.
Regardless, all speed reading courses are based on the same set of principles, making it possible for one to teach themselves how to speed read, although having a program or instructor on hand might make the process a lot easier.
The Three Main Focuses of Speed Reading Training:
When reading, do you tend to get caught up on a couple of words and pause? This behavior can slow down reading speed substantially. Speed reading focuses on minimizing the quantity and duration of fixations. The student learns to fly through the text at a steady and swift pace without stopping.
2. Regression and Back-Skipping
Both regression, which is the conscious rereading of texts, and back-skipping, which is the subconscious rereading caused by misplaced fixation, are primary reducers of reading speed and something those who would learn how to speed read must overcome.
3. Horizontal Peripheral Vision and Word Count per Fixation
The number of words covered with a single glance is vital to speed reading. Increasing usage of the horizontal peripheral vision allows readers to take in more words when reading. This approach and other techniques help to increase the number of words perceived during each fixation.
Assessing your Current Reading Speed
Assessing your reading speed will remain vital as you work to master this new skill, as knowing the speed allows you to measure improvements.
There are websites online which offer free speed reading tests.
For instance, check out the following free reading speed test: http://www.freereadingtest.com/.
If using a program to learn, such a test is usually included in the course’s beginning.
You can also assess your reading speed on your own with just a book and a stopwatch. First, lay the book flat, count the number of words, and count the number of words per line in 5 lines. Divide that number by 5 to get an average.
Now count the number of lines on a page for five pages. Divide by 5 to get an average of lines per page. After this, you can multiply the average number of words for each line by the average number of lines on each page, and this will give you the average number of words on each page.
Time to read. Set your timer at 1 minute and begin.
Just read at your average pace.
After the minute has passed, multiply the number of lines you’ve read, take the number of lines you’ve read and multiply this number by the average number of words on each line as calculated beforehand. The result of this final calculation is your current word-per-minute reading rate.
Advancing Your Reading Speed
Courses and books on speed reading will provide you with a method of increasing your reading speed. Following such programs may prove helpful, but you can learn how to improve your reading speed all on your own.
When it comes to practice, one of the biggest hindrances to learning how to read at an increased pace is the compelling need to comprehend every word.
Learners tend to equate vocalization or the pronunciation of words by the inner voice with comprehension, but that’s not the case.
Instead, grab your text and a pen and start flowing through the words whether you feel as if you’re comprehending them or not.
This technique is the practice. Soon you realize that you’re comprehending a lot more than you think, but still reading at a much faster pace.
The best approach is to go line by line.
Some courses teach fancy movements of the pointer and eye, such as making a Z pattern across the page, and that does work for some, but worries over comprehension make such an approach uncomfortable for new learners.
If you would like to try some of these advanced techniques, first practice the line by line method for a while until you’re comfortable with reading at a faster pace, and then you can try some of the other speed reading techniques.